The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is completing a restructuring that cut some positions, but which the group's leader said will allow it to react quickly to members' needs.
CPIA soon will hire a new Ontario director, replacing Faris Shammas, who left to pursue other interests. Shammas, a 26-year veteran with CPIA and its predecessor, the Society of the Plastics Industry of Canada, also was vice president of economic affairs for Mississauga, Ontario-based CPIA. CPIA President and Chief Executive Officer Serge Lavoie said the association wants to have an economist on staff again.
The new Ontario director will rebuild the structure of that division, Lavoie said in a telephone interview. Some responsibilities of the Ontario region have been transferred to personnel running national programs.
Lavoie said the restructuring is less a cost-cutting move than one to improve efficiency.
``We want to use the same resources but be more responsive,'' Lavoie noted. Key to the approach is breaking down walls between activities so personnel can apply resources where and when they are needed.
CPIA cut two administrative support positions last year, and it transformed its communications director post to information technology director - to handle systems like the Internet.
Communications functions such as issuing news releases were shifted to regional offices. Karen Wolfe, former communications director, left CPIA last year; Patrick Moore was hired as IT director.
CPIA's Environment and Plastics Industry Council also has been restructuring, Lavoie added. Funds previously used for public education have been redirected to support consultants who work with municipalities on waste management issues.
Consultants lined up so far are working with the local governments of Ottawa and London, Ontario. EPIC also recently hired a new communications specialist, Gabriel Mederos.
Lavoie is entering his second year as CPIA head. He said the biggest issues for Canada's processors now are the strong Canadian dollar, high resin prices and shrinking margins.